The Canadian economy showed unexpectedly strong job creation in September with 52,000 mainly full-time positions being added. However, the overall unemployment rate still crept up a notch to 7.4% as more people entered the labour market. This according to the latest Labour Force Survey from Statistics Canada, released this morning.

This marks the second month in a row of job gains. Most economists had been predicting moderate losses of around 15,000 jobs for last month with the unemployment rate to hold steady at 7.3%.

This dual increase of jobs and jobless seems to match a pattern on the job market of more people looking for work – at the same time as more jobs go unfilled. However, the fact that the increase in the unemployment rate is caused by more people looking for jobs is actually good news as it indicates an overall boost in Canadian’s confidence in the economy.


Most of the job gains were seen in Ontario with 31,000 new jobs added in September. The Ontario unemployment rate now sits at 7.9%, slightly above the national average. Manitoba also had a strong month with 6,600 jobs created, bringing that provinces unemployment rate to just 5%.

Saskatchewan saw its first job losses in nearly a year last month with a decline of 3,600 jobs. The Saskatchewan unemployment rate is now 4.7% – one of the lowest in the country.

While there was little changed on the Quebec job market last month, with more people searching for work, the unemployment rate increased slightly to 8.0%.

By Industry

The retail and wholesale trade sector saw solid growth last month adding 34,000 new jobs. This increase largely offsets job losses seen earlier in the year, bringing employment in the industry back up to where it was at this time last year.

The number of construction workers rose by 29,000 in September. This also leaves employment in the industry at a similar level to that of September last year.

Employment rose by 24,000 in the information, culture and recreation sector. These gains leave employment in the industry virtually unchanged from 12 months earlier.

The agriculture field (pun intended) also saw gains last month, adding 8,700 new jobs for a total year-over-year growth of 13,000.

Employment fell by 17,000 jobs in business, building and other support services.

Youth unemployment

Employment among young people aged from 15 to 24 was little changed in September, and their unemployment rate held steady at 15.0%. Compared with September of last year, youth employment has fallen by 70,000 jobs. Younger workers remain the only demographic group that has not yet recovered from the employment losses seen during the recession.

The US unemployment rate

The latest U.S. unemployment numbers have also just been released, and the news is good south of the border. The American unemployment rate fell to 7.8 per cent with gains of 870,000 new jobs.


Peter Harris

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